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2017 ASCO Annual Meeting!

Session: "Check" This Out: The Step Beyond PD-1 Blockade

Type: Clinical Science Symposium

Time: Sunday June 4, 9:45 AM to 11:15 AM

Location: Hall D1

The effect of pembrolizumab in combination with CD19-targeted chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells in relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Cellular Immunotherapy

Developmental Therapeutics—Immunotherapy

2017 ASCO Annual Meeting

Abstract No:

J Clin Oncol 35, 2017 (suppl; abstr 103)

Author(s): Shannon L. Maude, George E Hucks, Alix Eden Seif, Mala Kiran Talekar, David T. Teachey, Diane Baniewicz, Colleen Callahan, Vanessa Gonzalez, Farzana Nazimuddin, Minnal Gupta, Noelle V. Frey, David L. Porter, Bruce L Levine, Jan J. Melenhorst, Simon F. Lacey, Carl H. June, Stephan A. Grupp; Cancer Immunotherapy Program, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA; Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA; Center for Cellular Immunotherapies, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Abstract Disclosures


Background: CD19-targeted CAR T cells show CR rates of 70-95% in B-ALL. Yet a subset of patients do not respond or relapse due to poor CAR T cell expansion and persistence. We hypothesized that PD-1 checkpoint pathway inhibition may improve CAR T cell expansion, function and persistence. Methods: Four children with relapsed B-ALL treated with murine (CTL019) or humanized (CTL119) anti-CD19 CAR T cells received 1-3 doses of the PD-1 inhibitor pembrolizumab (PEM) for partial/no response or prior history of poor CAR T cell persistence starting 14d-2mo post CAR T cell infusion. Results: PEM increased and/or prolonged detection of circulating CAR T cells in all 4 children, with objective responses in 2/4. It was well tolerated, with fever in 2 pts and no autoimmune toxicity. Pts 1-3 received CTL119 for CD19+ relapse after prior murine CD19 CAR T cells. Pt 1 had 1.2% CD19+ residual disease despite expansion with detectable CTL119 by D28 and received PEM at 2mo for progressive disease with decreasing circulating CTL119. CTL119 became detectable at 0.2% of CD3+ cells by flow cytometry, but disease progressed. Pt 2 had no response after initial CTL119 expansion with a rapid disappearance by D28. After CTL119 reinfusion with PEM added 14d later, circulating CAR T cells remained detectable at 4.4% by D28, but disease progressed with decreased CD19 expression. In Pt 3, prior treatment with both CTL019 and CTL119 produced CR with poor CAR T cell persistence followed by CD19+ relapse. CTL119 reinfusion combined with PEM at D14 resulted in CR with prolonged CTL119 persistence (detectable at D50 compared to loss by D36 after 1st CTL119 infusion). Pt 4 received PEM for widespread extramedullary (EM) involvement at D28 post CTL019 infusion despite marrow remission. Initial CTL019 expansion peaked at 63% at D10 and fell to 20% at D28. Resurgence of CTL019 expansion, with a 2nd peak of 70% 11d after PEM, was associated with dramatic reduction in PET-avid disease by 3mo post CTL019. Conclusions: PEM was safely combined with CAR T cells and increased or prolonged CAR T cell detection, with objective responses seen. Immune checkpoint pathways may impact response to CAR T cell treatments and warrant further investigation. Clinical trial information: NCT02374333, NCT02906371

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